Don’t get us wrong…we’re not going all Grinch on the Yuletide tradition. We love receiving cards. But the 19th Century concept of Christmas cards takes the 21st Century family a lot of time and money to pull it off.
It all starts with trying to figure out what kind of Christmas card your family will send out and if it includes a picture and if a family update letter will be inserted too. Then, find the color-coordinated clothes for everyone in the family (which usually includes a shopping trip or two). Arrange the photo session. Take the pictures (hoping just one turns out making everyone look somewhat decent). Choose the right card. Order the photos and cards. Write out the Christmas letter. Print out the Christmas letter. Pick up the photos. Crosscheck mailing list for correct addresses. Email friends for their correct addresses. Address the envelopes. Assemble the cards, photos and letter. Stamp the envelopes. Mail the Christmas cards. Whew!
In addition to being a bit of a time-suck, Christmas cards cut into Santa’s shrinking present’s budget. Depending on how many you send out, the cards (including postage) can end up costing $1.00 to $5.00 each.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the popular trend of mailing wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year is beginning to fade. “The rise of social networking, smart phones and Apple iPads is changing the way friends and family stay in touch, diminishing the Christmas card’s long-standing role as the annual social bulletin.”
So, how can you use the world’s most popular social network to send well wishes during the world’s most popular holiday season?
Here’s five ways to use Facebook instead of sending out Christmas cards.
1) Notes – Write a Christmas letter that will be enjoyed by people all year long (and for years to come). Use Facebook Notes to write it and post it. You can even post your family photo on there too. And you can tag certain people in it too. If you plan on posting the “letter” onto your family blog, be sure to import it into your Facebook Notes. This allows you to just post it once, multiple times, or share it directly with your Facebook family and friends.
2) Inbox – A lot of people email Christmas greetings to their friends. Use the Facebook Inbox to send your holiday greetings to your Facebook friends and you don’t ever have to worry about it being an undeliverable message, getting caught in their spam filter, or being sent to the wrong email address. Besides, this ensures people notice your holiday greetings instead of hoping they discover it through the junk messages in their email inbox or the junk mail in their regular mailbox.
3) Timeline Post – Give that personal touch to your Facebook friends by posting a Christmas greeting on their Timeline. Posting a message that shows up on a person’s Profile Page will undoubtedly get their attention…and gratitude. But be sure to not just copy-n-paste messages onto all your friends’ Timelines. Your “personal” Timeline posting will show up on your other friend’s News Feeds. And even though there are only so many ways you can say, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”, add something personal, otherwise it comes across spammish and impersonal.
4) Status Update – If time gets the best of you that you can’t do the ideas listed above, be sure to write at least one (if not several) holiday greeting in your Status Update. In fact, this enables you to share greetings for all the holidays in December when they happen: Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, First Day of Winter, and New Year’s Day to name a few. With Facebook recently lifting the character limit on updates to a mere 60,000 or more, write to your hearts content!
5) Comments – This carries with it the modern tradition of sending Christmas cards to those who send them to you. Comment on the Status Updates of people who spread holiday greetings to their mass of friends. Or at the very least, Like it. They’ll take notice, guaranteed.
So while some will miss placing your traditional Christmas card on their mantle, or in their Christmas card holder, or into their recycler, by shifting your Christmas greetings to Facebook, the exchange of holiday pleasantries will be momentarily remembered when they log into Facebook and forever captured in the Friendship log. That’s a longer lasting record then Santa’s Naughty or Nice List.
Share what’s on your mind!
What do you think about ditching hard-copy Christmas cards for online Holiday greetings? Do you have other online ideas to share?
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Copyright © 2011 K. Jason and Kelli Krafsky – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper source citation.